(Last Updated on : 19/03/2014)
Aoling festival is celebrated by the Konyak tribe amidst the delightful serenity of Mon district
. The district serves as the home to the Konyak tribes. These folks are characterized by tattooed faces and adorn themselves with feathers. This six days festival is celebrated every year in the first week of April. Each day marks a specific custom and significance. The festival offers an exquisite event to witness the unique culture and traditions of the tribe and their simple lifestyle. Also known as a seed sowing festival Aoling festival marks the advent of spring.
Initiation of Aoling Festival
The first day of the festival is known as Hoi Lah Nyih which is marked by collection of vegetable items and firewood, preparation rice
beer and weaving ornaments and traditional cloths. A unique ritual is followed on this day in which chickens are sacrificed and the shape of their intestine is used to predict the future. The next two days of the festival are named as Yin Mok Pho Nyih and Mok Shek Nyih in which training is imparted to the young tribal boys for searching and gathering domestic animals for sacrificing in the festival.
Grandest Celebrations of Aoling Festival
The fourth day of Aoling festival is very important and is celebrated with great vigour. It is called Lingnyu Nyih. On this day, the tribal people wear spectacularly colourful and antique dresses and adorn themselves with beautiful ornaments. They wear exquisite headgears which are made of skulls of animals. The celebrations of this day comprise enthusiastic singing, dancing and community feasts amid a pulsating ambience. The Konyak tribe had a traditional ancient headhunting ritual which was practiced till the mid of last century. In the festival this ritual is also enacted on this day in which the Konyak men start performing the act from the village gate by shooting their guns in the air. Afterwards they pretend to carry the head of their enemies in their hands exhibiting their success.
Conclusion of Aoling Festival
The fifth and sixth days of Aoling festival are known as Lingha Nyih and Lingshan Nyih. During these days the family and relatives meet each other and remember the loved ones who have passed away. Log drums
are played and folk dances are performed by the tribal women. The men also perform warrior dance with their spears and guns portraying stories of courage in the battles during the days of head hunting. The guns are fired throughout the village randomly.